Links between metabolism and cancer

Chi V. Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Metabolism generates oxygen radicals, which contribute to oncogenic mutations. Activated oncogenes and loss of tumor suppressors in turn alter metabolism and induce aerobic glycolysis. Aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect links the high rate of glucose fermentation to cancer. Together with glutamine, glucose via glycolysis provides the carbon skeletons, NADPH, and ATP to build new cancer cells, which persist in hypoxia that in turn rewires metabolic pathways for cell growth and survival. Excessive caloric intake is associated with an increased risk for cancers, while caloric restriction is protective, perhaps through clearance of mitochondria or mitophagy, thereby reducing oxidative stress. Hence, the links between metabolism and cancer are multifaceted, spanning from the low incidence of cancer in large mammals with low specific metabolic rates to altered cancer cell metabolism resulting from mutated enzymes or cancer genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-890
Number of pages14
JournalGenes & development
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Caloric restriction
  • Cancer
  • Glycolysis
  • Metabolism
  • Obesity
  • Oncogenes
  • Tumor suppressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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